Another hat in the streaming service ring: NBCUniversal.
Another hat in the streaming service ring: NBCUniversal.

Image: Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Another day, another breakout streaming service.

Set to take on the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Disney, NBCUniversal announced plans Monday to throw its hat in the ring and launch its own streaming service.

According to a report by CNBC, the ad-supported service will launch early 2020. It will be free for NBCUniversal’s subscribers in both the U.S. and major international markets, as well as to subscribers of Comcast Cable and Sky.

Don’t subscribe to any of the above pay-TV services? The platform will cost around $12 per month, according to the report.

By making the service free to pay-TV subscribers, it’s a potentially strong strategy to grow viewer numbers quickly. But with Netflix alone boasting 137 million subscribers globally, they’ll have a battle on their hands for new customers.

In the meantime, akin to strategies employed by the likes of YouTube and Hulu, ad revenue will help support the service, with NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke telling CNBC you can expect to see three to five minutes of ads per hour.

“We want to create a platform that has significant scale and can scale quickly,” Burke explained to the news outlet. “The best way to do that, is make it free to consumers and leverage the fact that NBCUniversal’s sister company is a cable company and now owns Sky.”

What’ll you be able to watch? While the program list has not been unveiled, NBC’s press release said the service will feature on-demand content from the network’s library, similar to CBS All Access. 

That could mean anything from Parks and Recreation to The Office, 30 Rock and The Good Place, some of which are already available on competitor platforms like Netflix and Hulu. 

NBCUniversal also mentioned original programming is planned for the platform, something that has proved a strong strategy for the likes of Netflix, Disney, and Amazon to set themselves apart from syndicated streaming service content.

Importantly, NBCUniversal declared that it will continue to license content to other platforms, while retaining rights to certain titles for its new service.

With heavyweights like Apple and Disney expected to launch their own subscription streaming services this year, NBCUniversal’s proposed 2020 launch date could not come sooner.

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